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Discovery & User Experience

Getting the word out: putting your slides online

Love it or hate it, sometimes you just have to crack open PowerPoint (or Keynote, for you Mac users) and put a slide deck together.  Even though Steven Bell opined on ACRLog a couple years ago that, as a profession, we might put too much pressure on ourselves about snappy presentations, I’m guessing most folks aren’t going to cast worry to the wind when it comes their turn to stand in front of the crowd. Frankly, I hope we don’t, because the consequences can be serious: don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the dreaded “death by PowerPoint.” I also enjoyed a recent column from Tweed (via the Chronicle of Higher Education), tweeted as: “When PowerPoint is outlawed, only outlaws will have the power to bore us.”

After you’ve spent all those hours preparing your talk, or workshop (or interview presentation), you might want to share it with the world, right? I’ve done some presentations and workshops in my time, and while there are many other venues available, my money is with SlideShare. (Actually – not my money, because SlideShare is free.) SlideShare lets you freely distribute your presentations to the world while at the same time choosing the Creative Commons copyright level you feel to be appropriate.  It also allows you to choose whether you’d like to enable downloading, which gave me the good feeling of having control over my content while still being able to share it. My PowerPoint files are very image heavy, but SlideShare handles the large file size without any problems and even lets you embed YouTube videos.

SlideShare also incorporates a number of social-networking features, so other SlideShare users can “favorite” your presentation or leave comments, for example. It displays related content next to your own slides, so you can view similar presentations. Best yet, as previously mentioned, it’s free to sign up for an account.

More features to consider:
●   Share the stable URL for your slides on Facebook and Twitter, embed your presentations directly into your LinkedIn profile, or install a blog widget.
●    Want to know how many times your presentation has been viewed? No problem! SlideShare keeps track of hits for you, as well as how many times it’s been embedded in blog, etc.

Other (free) options: Prezi, 280 Slides, Google Docs

Does your heart belong to some other online slide sharing service? Tell us all about it in the comments.

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